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#DiversityInJusticeVA

Presenters:

Justin E. Fairfax, Esq.


Manuel E. Leiva, Esq.
Ann N. Luu, Esq.

February 26, 2016


Virginia General Assembly

WHY ARE WE HERE?


Racial and Ethnic Population Distribution
Alexandria General Population
2000
2010
White (Non-Hispanic)
53.7%
53.5%

2014
52.3%

Black
Asian and Pacific Islander

22.5%
5.8%

21.8%
6.1%

22.6%
7.0%

American Indian and


Alaska Native
Other
Hispanic

0.3%

0.4%

0.8%

7.4%
14.7%

7.1%
16.1%

3.1%
16.6%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census of Population and Housing

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


Racial and Ethnic Population Distribution
Arlington County General Population
2000
2010
White (Non-Hispanic)
60.4%
64.0%

2014
62.8%

Black
Asian and Pacific Islander

9.3%
8.7%

8.5%
9.7%

9.1%
10.4%

American Indian and


Alaska Native
Other
Hispanic

0.3%

0.5%

0.7%

8.3%
18.6%

5.9%
15.1%

3.2%
15.7%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census of Population and Housing

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


Racial and Ethnic Population Distribution
Fairfax County General Population
2000
2010
White (Non-Hispanic)
64.4%
54.6%

2014
52.0%

Black
Asian and Pacific Islander

8.6%
13.1%

9.2%
17.6%

10.0%
19.3%

American Indian and


Alaska Native
Other
Hispanic

0.3%

0.4%

0.7%

4.5%
11.0%

6.1%
15.6%

3.5%
16.4%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census of Population and Housing

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


Racial and Ethnic Population Distribution
Loudoun County General Population
2000
2010
White (Non-Hispanic)
79.6%
62.4%

2014
58.8%

Black
Asian and Pacific Islander

6.9%
5.4%

7.3%
14.8%

7.8%
17.4%

American Indian and


Alaska Native
Other
Hispanic

0.2%

0.3%

0.5%

2.3%
5.9%

4.9%
12.4%

3.5%
13.4%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census of Population and Housing

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


Racial and Ethnic Population Distribution
Prince William County General Population
2000
2010
White (Non-Hispanic)
64.7%
48.7%

2014
45.7%

Black
Asian and Pacific Islander

18.8%
3.9%

20.2%
7.6%

21.5%
8.6%

American Indian and


Alaska Native
Other
Hispanic

0.4%

0.6%

1.1%

4.3%
9.7%

8.6%
20.3%

4.4%
22.0%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census of Population and Housing

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


Diversity of The Northern Virginia Judiciary (2016)
Locality

Number of
Judges

AfricanAmerican

Hispanic

AsianAmerican

Fairfax
County
Loudoun
County
Arlington
County
Alexandria

32

12

Prince
William
County

15

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


ALEXANDRIA

Judges

Population

Non-Minority
Minority

Non-Minority
Minority

29%
48%
52%
71%
2 out of 7
U.S. Census 2014

2016

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


ARLINGTON

Judges

Population
Non-Minority
Minority

Non-Minority
Minority

13%

37%

63%
87%
1 out of 8
U.S. Census 2014

2016

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


FAIRFAX

Judges

Population
Non-Minority
Minority

Non-Minority
Minority

9%

48%
52%

91%
3 out of 32
U.S. Census 2014

2016

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


LOUDOUN

Population

0%

Judges
Non-Minority
Minority

Non-Minority
Minority

41%

59%
100%
0 out of 12
U.S. Census 2014

2016

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


PRINCE WILLIAM

Judges

Population
Non-Minority
Minority

Non-Minority
Minority

7%

46%
54%
93%
1 out of 15
U.S. Census 2014

2016

#DiversityInJusticeVA

Spotlight: Fairfax County


32
Total Number of Judges in Fairfax

1
Number of African-American Judges in Fairfax

0
Number of African-American Judges on Circuit or District Court

0
Number of Hispanic Judges EVER Appointed in Fairfax

2
Number of Asian-American Judges in Fairfax

Spotlight: Fairfax County


22 Years
Since an African-American Judge Was Appointed
(Hon. Gayle Carr Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court -1994)

24 Years
Since an African-American Was Appointed to Circuit Court
(Hon. Gerald Bruce Lee - 1992)

29 Years
Since an African-American Was Appointed to District Court
(Hon. Marcus D. Williams - 1987)

Spotlight: Prince William County


15
Total Number of Judges in Prince William County
1
Number of African-American Judges in Prince William County
0
Number of Hispanic Judges in Prince William County
0
Number of Asian-American Judges in Prince William County

Spotlight: Loudoun County


12
Total Number of Judges in Loudoun

0
Number of African-American Judges EVER Appointed in Loudoun

0
Number of Hispanic Judges EVER Appointed in Loudoun

0
Number of Asian-American Judges EVER Appointed in Loudoun

WHY ARE WE HERE?


VA Lawyers Weekly
Diversity Lacking on the Bench?
January 25, 2016
Essentially, its reached a point where the makeup of the
judiciary in Northern Virginia is not reflective of the
community it serves.

[T]he issue extends to prosecutors and


public defenders. Lawyers with commonwealths attorneys
offices and public defenders all too
often lack much if any racial diversity.
-Justin E. Fairfax, Esq., Counsel at Venable LLP,
Former Federal Prosecutor

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY ARE WE HERE?


VA Lawyers Weekly
Diversity Lacking on the Bench?

January 25, 2016


I would venture to say the bench does not represent
the actual community.

[W]omen are fairly represented on the Fairfax


bench, but [Kay] acknowledged a lapse in minority
judges.
- Douglas R. Kay,

Fairfax Bar Association President


#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY DIVERSITY IN THE


JUDICIARY MATTERS

Diversity on the bench is important, both because a


diversity of viewpoints will produce a more robust
jurisprudence, and because it will enhance the
legitimacy of our system of justice in the eyes of an
increasingly diverse public."
Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Monique Chase & Emma Greenman,
Improving Judicial Diversity, Brennan Center for Justice

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY DIVERSITY IN THE


JUDICIARY MATTERS
Judges are not the exclusive province of any
one section of society. Rather they must provide
justice for all.
In order for a judicial selection to be considered
fair and impartial, it must be seen as
representative of the community.
Professor Jeffrey D.
Jackson

It is important for a selection system insofar as it


is possible, to advance methods that provide for a
judicial bench that reflects the diversity of its
qualified applicants.
#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY DIVERSITY IN THE


JUDICIARY MATTERS
Supreme Court Justices also believe that
diversity on the bench improves judicial decision
making.
For example, Justice Powell noted that a
member of a previously excluded group can
bring insights to the Court that the rest of its
members lack.
Kevin R. Johnson & Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, A Principled Approach to the Quest
for Racial Diversity on the Judiciary, 10 Michigan J. Of Race & L. 2, 23 (2004)
(quoting J. Powell).

#DiversityInJusticeVA

WHY DIVERSITY IN THE


JUDICIARY MATTERS
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has
commented that a system of justice is the
richer for the diversity of background and
experience of its participants.

Jeffrey D. Jackson, Beyond Quality: First Principles in Judicial Selection and


their Application to a Commission-Based Selection System, 34 Fordham Urb.
L.J. 125, 141 note 20 (2007).

#DiversityInJusticeVA

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


COMMON MYTHS
Myth #1: Minorities Dont Apply to Be Judges FALSE
Candidate

Court

Years

Richard Allen
Richard Carnell Baker
Donna Banks

Alexandria JDR
Fairfax JDR
Fairfax JDR
Fairfax JDR
Fairfax Circuit Ct
Arlington JDR
Fairfax GDC
Fairfax Circuit Ct
Fairfax Circuit Ct
Fairfax JDR
Fairfax Circuit Ct

2008
1996
2016
2005
2009
2015
2015
2008
2007
2003
2015
2014
2006
2015
2015
2014
2015
2015
2014

David Bernhard
Sudeep Bose
Dontae Bugg
Gayle B. Carr
Dale Dover
Kathryn Dickerson
Toni S. Fay
Daniel Lopez

Gina Marine
Anita V. McFadden

Fairfax GDC
Fairfax GDC
Arlington JDR
Fairfax Circuit Ct
Arlington JDR
Fairfax GDC
Fairfax GDC

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


COMMON MYTHS
Myth #1 (cont): Minorities Dont Apply to Be Judges FALSE
Candidate

Court

Years

Karen Turner McWilliams

Fairfax Circuit Ct

2006

Petula C. Metzler

Prince William Circuit Ct


Prince William GDC

2015
2015

Su Yong Min

Arlington JDR
Fairfax JDR
Arlington JDR
Fairfax JDR
Fairfax GDC
Alexandria JDR
Fairfax JDR
Fairfax JDR
Fairfax JDR
Prince William GDC
Prince William GDC
Prince William JDR
Prince William GDC

2015
2016
2015
2016
2015
2008
2008
2006
2005
2014
2013
2013
2012

Devanshi Patel
Luis Perez

Claiborne Richardson

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


COMMON MYTHS
Myth #1 (cont): Minorities Dont Apply to Be Judges FALSE
Candidate

Court

Years

Turkessa Rollins

Prince William GDC


Prince William GDC
Prince William GDC

2014
2013
2012

May Shallal

Fairfax JDR

2016

Lorrie A. Sinclair

Loudoun GDC
Loudoun Circuit Ct
Loudoun Circuit Ct
Fairfax JDR
Fairfax JDR
Loudoun GDC
Loudoun Circuit Ct
Loudoun Circuit Ct
Alexandria JDR

2011
2013
2014
2006
2005
2011
2012
2013
2008

Marcia K. Thompson
Zaida Thompson

Howard Woodson

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


COMMON MYTHS
Myth #1 (cont): Minorities Dont Apply to Be Judges FALSE
Minority Applications
14
12

10
8
6
4
2
0
2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

#DiversityInJusticeVA

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


Chilling Effect
While many minorities have applied for
judgeships, consistent rejection of minority
applicants over the past 30 years has had a
chilling effect and likely has discouraged
more minorities from submitting applications.

#DiversityInJusticeVA

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


Accomplishments of Minority Judicial Applicants

Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating
Virginia Lawyers Weekly
Leaders in the Law
AMLaw 100 Law Firm Partnerships

President, Virginia Women


Attorneys Association
President, Hispanic Bar Association
of Virginia

Appointed as Substitute Judges

President, Asian Pacific American


Bar Association of Virginia

Prosecutors, Public Defenders,


Assistant County Attorneys

President, Northern Virginia Black


Attorneys Association

Capital-Case Certified

#DiversityInJusticeVA

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


COMMON MYTHS

Even minority candidates ranked as


recommended and highly recommended
are repeatedly passed over.

Spotlight: Turkessa Rollins (2015)

Ranked #1 by Prince William County Bar


Served as a Substitute Judge
Highly Recommended by Diverse Bars
Was Not Even Granted an Interview by the
Courts of Justice Committee

#DiversityInJusticeVA

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


COMMON MYTHS
Myth #2: If a Minority Candidate Does Not Receive the Support of the
Local Bar, They Will Not Be a Good Judge. FALSE
Significant examples to the contrary
Spotlight: U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee
o Did not receive the support of the FBA in
his 3rd attempt at the Fairfax Circuit Court
o Still Interviewed by Legislature and Appointed (1992)
o Later Nominated by President and confirmed by the
U.S. Senate as a Federal Judge (1998)
o Widely recognized as a legal giant in Virginia and
elsewhere, and has had a stellar and distinguished legal
career
#DiversityInJusticeVA

HOW DID WE GET HERE?


COMMON MYTHS
Myth #2: If a Minority Candidate Does Not Receive the Support of the
Local Bar, They Will Not Be a Good Judge. FALSE
Spotlight: Judge Johanna Fitzpatrick
o Did not receive the support of the FBA
o Later became Chief Judge of the Virginia
Court of Appeals

o Highly regarded and widely respected jurist

#DiversityInJusticeVA

HOW DO LEGISLATORS SOLVE


THIS SERIOUS PROBLEM?
RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. Prioritize Diversity as Part of the Judicial Selection Process


2. Broaden Pool of Applicants Interviewed by Legislators
3. More Heavily Weigh and Carefully Consider Evaluations and
Recommendations of Diverse Bar Associations

4. Increase Transparency in the Judicial Selection Process

#DiversityInJusticeVA

ACCOUNTABILITY ACTIONS
Issue and Publicize Legislative Scorecards

Grade legislators on their commitment to and effectiveness


in creating a diverse judiciary.
Publicize scorecards to Diverse Bar Membership, Coalition
Partners, Civic Organization Membership, and the Broader
Community
Publicize EVERY judicial selection process
#DiversityInJusticeVA

ACCOUNTABILITY ACTIONS
Measure Progress
Publish Diversity Statistics
Annual General Assembly Lobby Day
Highlight progress, regression, or stagnation and meet
with Legislators
Engage the Media
Engage Coalition Partners and Community

#DiversityInJusticeVA

CONTACT US
#DiversityInJusticeVA

@DiversityIJVA

Email: DiversityInJusticeVA@gmail.com